David Meerman Scott, world-renowned marketing strategist, speaker, and author of several best-selling books on the subject joined our CEO, Bob Ruffolo, and CSO, Tom DiScipio, to critique websites submitted by our audience during our December Website Throwdown.
Each website and the organization’s behind them had their own strengths and weaknesses, but our marketing and UX experts were able to share tips to help them improve their messaging, design, and overall website strategy.
Here are 4 of most valuable (and tweetable) lessons learned:
1. “Always connect your value proposition with your hero image. The message should be consistent.”
Whether you start with an image or a value proposition, it’s important to make sure they’re connected with one another to really drive your message home for your target audience.
If things are disconnected or irrelevant, it may be confusing to your potential customers. They may not really be sure what you’re offering or why they should choose you over your competitors. When your imagery aids the message of your value proposition, this helps gets your message across clearly.
2. “Be careful with stock photos. If your business doesn't look real you can lose credibility.”
Be careful with stock photos. If your business doesn't look real you can lose credibility. #WebsiteThrowdown
If you want your audience to believe in your business and see what makes you unique, get rid of your stock photos. It can make your business look phony, in turn hurting your credibility. Showcase who you really are by adding images of your real employees or customers, not models that are on every other website.
“Stock photos of people should never be used to represent your customers or your employees. Lose them. I won’t do business with a site that has stock photos.” - David Meerman Scott
Using authentic images of your company, instead of stock photos, help frame it in a more relatable, genuine light.
3. “Avoid using buzz words like innovative, cutting-edge, or scalable to describe yourself.”
Some words should generally be avoided when describing your company or product because they’re all too common.
Using these words to add excitement to your site doesn’t add any real value to your message. Customer will be expecting to see all these words in action, so if you’re going to use them, make sure your business/product can live up to them.
Buzzwords like these are so overused, they lose their meaning, especially when used to describe oneself. The exception to this rule is if the buyer uses them to describe you themselves. Coming from a third-party gives these often “boastful” words more credibility.
4. “Social media humanizes your organization. It lets you find see the people behind the company.”
Social media humanizes your organization. It lets you find see the people behind the company. #WebsiteThrowdown
As consumers begin to look for a product they want to make sure it's coming from a company that can be trusted. One of the top ways a potential customer can learn to trust you is communicating directly with your brand via social media.
When you utilize social media and showcase your company's personality it allows consumers to see the humans behind the brand.
Use it to keep your audience up-to-date on your company and industry, to start and engage in conversation, and observe behaviors. Overall, you want to showcase your personality, connect with followers, and give your company a voice.
Want Your Website Critiqued Live?
Submit your site here or click the button below for the chance to be TORN APART live on the air of our next Website Throwdown in January!
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